D & P BLOG

Why you should have a password on your wireless router Category: Blog

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Do you have a wireless router in your home? If you do, is it password-protected?

Just like you wouldn’t let a stranger use your email account or borrow your driver’s license, you shouldn’t leave your home wi-fi unprotected. Keep reading to find out why … and how you can keep your wireless connection private.

Why does it matter?

There are three main reasons to keep your wireless router protected by a password.

  1. It saves your bandwidth. If your router is unprotected, anyone within range can use your internet connection and hog your bandwidth, making your internet connection much slower. If you live in a town, you could easily have a dozen neighbors within range of your wireless signal — plus anyone who happens to be driving or walking by. That’s a lot of potential for people to leech off of the internet connection that you’re paying for.
  2. To the rest of the internet, anyone using your wi-fi looks like you. Every internet user has a unique address, known as an IP address, that can be used to identify them. Anyone who connects to the internet using your router will have the same IP address as you — which means that if they do anything illicit or illegal, it will look like you’re the one responsible. People who plan to commit crimes online have been known to seek out unsecured wi-fi connections to cover their tracks, so leaving your router unsecured puts you at risk of being blamed for something you didn’t do.
  3. An unsecured router gives hackers one more weakness to exploit. Just leaving your router unprotected generally isn’t enough to give the average passerby access to your computer, but it is a vulnerability that a smart hacker can find a way to use — and you don’t want to give identity thieves any more opportunities than they already have.

How do I tell if my Wi-Fi is unsecured?

When you go to connect your computer or smartphone to your home’s wi-fi, you’ll see a list of available networks. If a picture of a lock appears next to your home network’s name, it has a password set. If there’s no lock, it’s open and anyone can access it.

How do I set my password?

This varies depending on what kind of router you have, but the owner’s manuals for some of the most common wireless routers can be found on the D&P Communications Help Guides page. If you don’t see your router listed, and you can’t find your owner’s manual, don’t worry — you will almost certainly be able to find a downloadable owner’s manual for your router by typing its name (such as “Linksys E1200”) into Google.

What else can I do?

Setting a password isn’t the only way to make your home wi-fi network more secure. If your network’s name includes the brand name of your router — such as Linksys or Netgear — change it to something else. Knowing what kind of router you’re using gives would-be hackers one more tool to use against you.

Another option, if you only use a few devices (such as computers or smartphones) to connect to the internet and you don’t plan to use anything else in the near future, is to program your router to only accept connections from those specific devices. Every device has a unique identifier known as a MAC address, and you can set your router to only accept connections from MAC addresses it “knows.” This adds a layer of security, but also can be inconvenient, because if you buy a new computer or phone, bring a laptop home from work, or have a guest who needs to use your network, your router’s settings will need to be changed before you can connect any new device.

Finally, make sure your password is something hard to guess. Passwords like “admin,” “password,” “qwerty,” and “123456” are among the first things a hacker will try if they’re trying to gain unauthorized access to your network. Using your children’s names or your high school mascot is also a bad idea. Pick something that’s easy for you to remember, but hard for anyone else to figure out based on readily available information about you.

The D&P Help Desk: On Call For You Category: Blog

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When you have a question about your phone, cable or Internet service, a D & P help desk technician is standing by ready to assist!

Our residential help desk operators are trained to deal with a wide variety of issues. Because we provide a complete range of telecommunications services, our technicians are well-versed in telephone and Cable TV systems as well as a wide variety of ways to access the internet, including fiber, DSL, and fixed wireless.

Our help desk operators are chosen not just for their technical ability, but also for their ability to fix problems remotely, so you’re sure to get your questions answered as quickly as possible and resolution without a site visit in many cases.

And our help desk is completely local! We feel that’s one of the advantages of getting your phone, cable or internet service from a local company … when you call for support, you’re talking to somebody who lives in your area and knows the neighborhoods they serve. Our residential help desk operators are distributed across our five office locations in Petersburg, Adrian, Blissfield, Dundee and Tecumseh.

Our residential help desk can be reached Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

To speak to a help desk technician, please call 888-221-2277, email servicedesk@d-pcomm.com, or visit www.d-pcommunications.com and click on the “How Can We Help?” box in the lower right corner of your screen to chat live.

D&P Channel 22: LISD TV puts our community in the spotlight Category: Blog

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Have you turned to Channel 22 lately? If you have, you know that it’s not your average public access channel.

In Lenawee County, Channel 22 is the home of LISD TV, a 24-hour channel operated by students at the Lenawee Intermediate School District. D & P Communications is proud to be associated with the channel, which puts Lenawee County in the spotlight with high-quality, locally produced shows.

When it began about six years ago, Channel 22 was little more than a community calendar. Now it’s a full-fledged TV station, and you’ll be hard-pressed to notice much difference between LISD TV and the professionally produced shows you see on commercial channels.

Under the guidance of a small professional staff, led by broadcast TV veteran Kelly Heidbreder, the students who operate LISD TV travel around Lenawee County covering topics of interest. They are involved in every aspect of production: behind the camera, in front of the camera, and editing the footage for broadcast.

Recent topics have included severe weather preparedness and downtown Adrian’s Artalicious festival, as well as numerous programs about events taking place in Lenawee County schools.

Early last year, LISD TV launched the Lenawee Sports Network. Students record sporting events around the county and provide the play-by-play commentary; those games are then broadcast on Channel 22 and uploaded to the station’s YouTube channel. D & P is proud to be the major underwriter of Lenawee Sports Network, providing quality local sports programming to subscribers.

You can find LISD TV programs online by searching YouTube for LISD or the Lenawee Sports Network or by going to tinyurl.com/LISDTV22. You can also visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/LISDTV22 or follow them on Twitter at @LISDTV.

In addition to being an educational experience for the students running the station, LISD TV and the Lenawee Sports Network help spread the word about the great things happening in Lenawee County and our local school districts. D & P Communications is happy to be partnering with the LISD to shine this spotlight on our community. As your locally owned cable, phone and internet company, we take pride in our roots and in doing everything we can to help our community prosper.

If you attend one of the games being covered by the Lenawee Sports Network, you’re likely to see the D & P banner and broadcasters wearing their D & P shirts. We hope you will come up and say hello!

When reliability matters most: D&P Communications and ProMedica connect for better health Category: Blog

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When the health care experts at ProMedica needed to upgrade their systems to the latest possible technology and the fastest possible connections, they turned to D & P Communications.

ProMedica — which operates Bixby and Herrick Hospitals, along with ten more hospitals and numerous clinics, doctors’ offices, and other health care facilities across southeast Michigan and northwest Ohio — recently connected all of the sites in its North Region with a cutting-edge network installed and operated by D & P.

The project gives ProMedica the high-speed connections necessary to take advantage of the latest in medical technology, along with the highest possible reliability.

“Resiliency and speed are really the two things that drove this project,” explains Benjamin Vickers, ProMedica’s information technology director.

ProMedica Bixby and Herrick Hospitals now both have Internet connections capable of carrying up to 10 gigabits per second. By comparison, a residential customer with a DSL line might have a 6 megabit per second connection, and might only use a fraction of that speed. One gigabit is 1,000 megabits, so the connections at Bixby and Herrick can carry thousands of times as much data as most residential customers use.

In addition, all of the physicians’ offices in the ProMedica North region are now on 1 gigabit-per-second connections.

Why is speed so important? It’s because electronic data is a crucial part of modern medicine.

All medical records are stored electronically, and the high-speed connections between all of ProMedica’s facilities allow records to be transferred seamlessly so all of the doctors and nurses involved in a patient’s care have instant access to all the information they need.

Medical technology is constantly improving, and things like X-Rays, CAT scans and MRIs are generating better and higher-resolution images, making faster connections a must.

And high-speed connections can make transfers between facilities much easier. For example, if a patient needs to transfer from Bixby to ProMedica Toledo Hospital, teleconferencing systems can allow the doctor in Toledo to virtually “meet” the patient before they even arrive.

It’s not all about speed, however. For a health system, reliability is of paramount importance.

For maximum reliability, D & P maintains extensive routes of fiber optic cable in the ground to provide two completely separate paths between Bixby and Herrick Hospitals and Toledo. One path runs through Monroe and the other through southern Lenawee County, guaranteeing that even if something unexpected happens — such as a backhoe accidentally hitting a fiber-optic cable somewhere along the route — the connection can switch to an alternate path without missing a beat.

That philosophy of having a backup for everything applies to all of the facilities’ internal networks too. Whether it’s at Bixby and Herrick or at your doctor’s office, every piece of equipment is doubled so that if one component fails, another is ready to instantly take its place.

The system is designed for a 99.999% uptime guarantee — which is just about as close as you can get to no downtime whatsoever. And the network connecting ProMedica North facilities to each other and to Toledo is now as robust as the networks you would find in any major metropolitan area.

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